Polling Shows Voters Overwhelmingly Support Tougher Regulation of Big Business

June 9, 2016 | Download PDF

Public opinion polling from the past two years shows massive public support for regulation and greater regulatory enforcement, not just in the abstract but across a wide range of concrete issue domains. From holding Big Businesses and Wall Street banks accountable to securing public health and safety to protecting our environment, American voters strongly support regulatory safeguards and want tougher enforcement.


Tougher regulatory enforcement enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support.

  • Voters in both parties believe there should be increased enforcement of laws and regulations by astonishing margins (87 percent to 11 percent).
  • Even after hearing arguments against it, three out of four voters still want tougher enforcement.

Support for stronger Wall Street reform is massive.

  • More than nine in 10 voters agree that it is important to regulate financial services and products to make sure they are fair for consumers.
  • Four out of five voters say Big Banks on Wall Street should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement for the practices that caused the 2008 financial crisis.
  • By a nearly three-to-one margin, voters want more, not less, oversight of financial companies.

By huge margins, Americans favor a broad range of consumer protections.

  • Voters express massive support for transportation safety standards, including criminal penalties for companies that cover up safety defects (84 percent to 15 percent).
  • Americans express overwhelming support for regulating chemicals in cosmetics, including 94 percent who say companies should be required to notify the government if a product injures consumers.
  • There is very strong support for regulation to ensure safe food and medicine. More than seven in 10 Americans say government is doing a good job in this area.
  • Nine out of 10 Americans want food containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled; only six percent oppose mandatory labeling.

Americans express strong support for greater environmental protections.

  • Three out of four voters want to maintain or strengthen environmental
  • Americans support the Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a two-to-one margin, and three out of four of Americans favor stricter limits on smog.
  • There is massive support for the Clean Water Act (80 percent to 14 percent), and strong majorities favor stronger action to ensure water quality and safety.
  • Even given a false choice between environmental protection and the economy, nearly three out five Americans say stricter environmental regulations are worth the costs.


Contact: Amit Narang, Public Citizen, anarang@citizen.org, (202) 454-5116
Michell McIntyre, Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, mmcintyre@citizen.org, (202) 454-5156


The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is a national alliance of more than 150 consumer, labor, scientific, research, faith, community, environmental, small business, good government, public health and public interest groups — representing millions of Americans. We are joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards should secure our quality of life, pave the way for a sound economy and benefit us all.